After seven years of observing what I thought was repugnant political manipulation of and pandering to the military, I am heartened to see that ADM Mike Mullen has begun to tell the troops to stay out of partisan politics.
Mullen said he was inspired to write the essay after receiving a constant stream of legitimate, if troubling, questions while visiting U.S. military personnel around the world, including, "What if a Democrat wins?" and, "What will that do to the mission in Iraq?"
While his writings address his spot-on guidance, sure would like to know how he handled this on the fly, and, if he answered in a manner consistent with his "all hands" message, whether intermediate commanders had the courage to fully reiterate this important guidance.
During the Clinton impeachment, there was a desire amongst some of the more vocal Republicans to see if the service chiefs would be willing to testify as to whether the troops willingness to obey the president had been weakened by the scandal. Since none of the chiefs took the stand, it would appear that the then serving crop of generals were not about to get sucked in to what I would call a pure and simple mutiny. Perhaps ADM Mullen's Navy roots helped him stand up to the plate and caution the troops to avoid mutiny and preserve one of the most sacred ideals of our American military.
It does offer a bit of hope.